30 April 2007

Another Friday Night In Vegas

What do you see? I'll tell you. It's a bunch of professionals posing in the back of a hollowed out White Bronco. Let me take you back to Friday, April 27th.

A bunch of us went from work out for drink specials. There was no occasion but sometimes it's nice to go out with your friends. After happy hour, we went to Polly Esther's, which is a new club at the Stratosphere. It has four rooms, and each is based on a decade. I think it's pretty cool.

Here we are in the 90's room in a White Bronco. Get it? I know. Funny.

So we were there. We sang, we danced, and we sang some more. Just look at all the merriment.

29 April 2007

Back On The Mountain

April 22, 2007

Jesse and I went back up to Red Rock for more hiking. I was less than excited because it looked like it was about to rain. Jesse was insistent, almost pouty. So we went. However, we did not go into Red Rock Canyon. We drove around a neighborhood behind the canyon and essentially parked on the side of the road, then began walking. It was such a white-person-in-a-movie thing to do. I complained for much of the beginning. Then I got lost in Jesse's excitement.

He really has the wonderment of a 12 year old boy. I love it. For example, when it did actually begin raining (as predicted) Jesse found us some shelter under a rock. When he found it, and hurried me under it, his eyes were as big as quarters. He looked like he had discovered nudie magazines for the first time. It was adorable. Look at me. My boyfriend provided shelter.

We scurried up and up and up and up. Naturally Jesse wanted to reach the top. But mountains are high. And it's not like we were on a path. Jesse said he had a planned but as far as I could tell, it was really just to put one foot in front of the other.

The time came when I had enough dumb decisions. I've seen the movies. I know that white people will walk right into anything out of curiosity. The time came when I was not standing on stable rock and the jumps were getting higher. So I stopped. I sat myself on a ledge and I let Jesse go off up the mountain. He scurried and I watched... and apparently the fact that I saw deterred him from making a stupid jump.

I'm not sure how long I sat there. I got rained on again - with no man to provide shelter. Eventually Jesse came down. We took more scenic pictures and called it a day.

28 April 2007

Good Bye Parties Are Fun

April 20, 2007

In the business I'm in, there's a lot of turnover. People come and go it seems in two year cycles. More than likely because that's the term of a lot of contracts. Either way, we had as four-part going away party on Friday, April 20th. Here I am with two of the departing. Steve is going to work on a cruise ship. Lindsay went to Kentucky to produce. That's where her family is. Jesse calls Steve a pirate. So maybe his home is really at sea.

We started at the Hofbrahaus, which is my least favorite place to party. I don't like beer and I don't eat a lot of what they serve. So I arrived late, and stood around while the beer drinkers drank beer. It was a nice pre-party atmosphere though, complete with a live band. Look at the size of that beer.

Thank goodness the Hofbrahaus closes at midnight. We then went across the street to the Hard Rock. There we did much of the same. We stood around and talked shop, even though we hate talking about work. We met some tourists and laughed at the drunk ones. Honestly, I don't know where the time went. Once I checked, and it was 4 in the morning. People started going home around 5. Somehow I didn't make it home until 9. Of course I took a lot of pictures and I had a fabulous time.

25 April 2007

From Here...

So I didn't post in quite a while, even though things were happening. Now I am determined to get everything out there, but I am not doing it in order. If you read from the top down, this is where you'll find the hole in my story telling. I assure you, I will fill it.

24 April 2007

Day Two | Life With Derek

The next day my dad was off to visit my other little brother, who was about to have his birthday. But before that, the highlight of the day was the trip to Derek's apartment. He had been living in my mother & Vicki's basement in their old house. When they moved he decided to be a grown up too. He moved out. But was super lucky (spoiled) in that everything he needed for his apartment was donated (given) by my mother, Vicki, and Vicki's sisters. Convenient? Yes!

So Derek's apartment is fully furnished. He even has a 52" television, even though he doesn't have cable. He has everything... except food. Take a look into his freezer. My dad gave him that chicken and I'm assuming he bought that frosty on his own.

The fridge isn't much better off, or the cabinets for that matter. One might think Derek doesn't like food. But that's certainly not the case. He comes over to see my mother (and her fridge) everyday. Bless his little hungry heart.

Derek is doing well. He's working retail until his acting career takes off. He likes clothes, so I think it's a good place for him to be. The other thing about Derek: he and Dayana are 100% bff. She follows him everywhere and even tried to get him to beat me up. ("Get her Derek. Get her.") Adorable.

After the stop at Derek's, my dad was off. The rest of us did a little shopping for me, then went home to watch some TV. There was nothing really exciting to report, we just ate popcorn and went to bed.

15 April 2007

Day One | After The Spinal Tap

After the spinal tap, my mother was told to rest and drink caffeine. But the first thing on our minds was eating. We went to the Olive Garden to start the lunch rush. There's Dayana, behind a big salad bowl. She doesn't pass up a camera, or a camera phone for that matter. This picture makes me think she was up to no good. Doesn't she look sneaky?

Anyway, we ate. It was delicious. We went back home to rest, and fight over the remote. My dad likes to watch syndicated programs. If it was on three years ago, he'll watch it. He's the guy who watches the Law & Order marathon on USA and then switches over to TNT. My mother and I like cartoons (big into the Backyardigans these days) and my brother (it seems) just wants to be difficult. But we all wanted to Law & Order. But by the third episode, everyone but my dad had gone to bed.

Before that - funny story. We were all sitting around and my mom told Dayana to come get her diaper changed. Dayana got a pamper, brought it to my dad and said "I boo." My mom tried to take it and she said "No," gave the pamper to my dad, and took off her little pants. My dad said "if you're old enough to do all that, shouldn't you be using the potty?" She disagreed and my dad changed her diaper. I told you the kid was up to no good. ;)

11 April 2007

Day One | The Spinal Tap

So after I arrived, and got the tour, I went to bed. Four hours later, I was up for my mother's spinal tap.

If you're just tuning in, my mother has Multiple Sclerosis. It's a nasty devil of an affliction. It leads to all sorts of other awful things. As it progresses, the treatments have to change. In order to gauge the stage of the MS (and therefore the treatment), doctors check the fluid on the brain. But the brain does not just leak fluid when one wants it to leak fluid. Doctors have to take a bit as it travels along it's merry little way. Over the years I gather doctors decided the best way to get some of the fluid is to grab it from the spine. And the spinal tap was born.

I've never had one. And from what I hear, they're super painful. But the staff at whatever hospital we were in made it as pleasant as possible. Vicki and I (serving as the peanut gallery) were also there to lighten the mood. Look at those sexy socks! I took some home. I most certainly did.

But I tell you, spinal taps are serious business. Usually you curl up in the fetal position and they stick you. These fancy Maryland doctors thought it better to bend my mother over a table. Must be some newfangled treatment. From what I saw, it wasn't worth it.

First they lay her across the table. Then they supposedly numb the area. Then they go between the vertebrae and allegedly suck out the fluid. That's what they teach the doctors to tell you. What really happens is quite different. Sure they lay you across the table. And they put something in your back that supposedly numbs it. But in my mother's case, the supposedly numb area still had feeling.

When Dr. Theresa and her sensible shoes tried to get the needle in, she could not. And my mother felt it. She did not feel "slight pressure." She felt pain that made her nauseous and clammy. But that Dr. Theresa was apparently on a mission. She kept trying and my mom kept saying she was going to vomit.

Dr. Theresa took a break.
Nurse Pamela (her stage name) got my mother some cold water.
My mother drank it.
Theresa and her shoes tried again.
My mother screamed.
Dr. Theresa took the hint.

She called Dr. Fleischman. He's her boss and the chief of the Neurology at this hospital. He apparently does not take "no" for an answer. Not even from vertebrae. He popped down, popped that needle in and got his fluid in a flash.

Little known fact about spinal fluid: it looks like water. Another little know fact: they only take about an ounce. It looked like I could have just spit in a vial. They don't even fill it to the quarter mark. But they get 4 vials. Hospitals are wasteful.

Once that was over, they prescription is rest and fluids. Apparently caffeine helps the spinal hole close. But oh-ho! My mother is a diabetic. I don't think caffeine is on her good list. I could be wrong. But I know everything she has to drink is diet or sugar free. Doctors are dumb. But the spinal tap was over.

10 April 2007

Day One | The Shower

A few hours after I arrived, it was already time to get up and shower. My mother and Vicki have a bathroom in thier bedroom. That means the main bathroom on the floor belongs to Dayana. Look at her. Does she look like the type of person that should be designing bathrooms?

Of course not! She's only 1. Sheesh. I hate to tell you that the adults designed her bathroom. Unfortunately it's not at all functional for other adults. For one thing, there's a duck wearing a biking covering the faucet. How do people shower? Trick question. Babies take baths. This rubber duck serves lots of functions. Aside from preventing adults from taking showers, she keeps Dayana from hitting her little baby head. And if you put soap in her head, bubbles come out. This duck is obviously the latest in practicality.

And what's a bath without the cookie monster? I think he's a towel holder. But if you pour water in his head, his eyes roll around all crazy-like. An absolute bath time essential. I just don't know why he looks like he should be at a dinner table.

So I asked my mother why she put fridge magnets in the tub. I mean I'm all for kids knowing the alphabet, but magnets do not belong in the tub. My mother agreed. These are not fridge magnets. Those are tub magnets. Apparently when you get them all wet, they stick to the walls like magnets. When they dry, they fall off the walls. But seriously. Look at all that stuff in one tub. There's a pasta strainer in there. I hope Dayana loves it. It was just too much for me.

09 April 2007

Danie Visits The East

As I mentioned, I went back east at the end of March / beginning of April. I had quite a few reasons to go. My mom & Vicki just moved into their new house. Derek has his own apartment, and it was Abby's birthday. Plus, I got a really good flight deal.

So on March 28, I went. I left after work with a little less than 2 hours to get to my gate. At McCarran, once you check in, you go up an escalator, down the hall, then make a right and a left to get to security. But on the day I left, I got no further than the first hall. I never knew so many people used the C gate on Wednesday afternoons. The line was 5 people wide and I don't know how many people deep. I would have taken a picture if not for the very serious possibility of missing my flight. It took me more than an hour to get to the gate. Once I went to the bathroom, (because I do not do airplane bathrooms) it was time to board.

So I left Las Vegas. It was still daytime, so I took some pictures. As you can see, we were having some inclimate weather. Personally, I like clouds but a lot of people here don't. I planned to sleep on the plane but first I was enthralled by the scenery. Then we flew through some thunderstorms. I took pictures and video but they didn't come out.

I had never flown through a storm before. Usually planes are above the clouds, and for the most part we were. But some of the thickest, most lightning producing clouds were eye-level.
They looked like clouds, but like mountains at the same time. It was intense, with turbulence to match. It was not the droning, nap inducing flight I expected.

I arrived at 1 in the morning eastern time. My parents picked me up and my mom gave me the tour of the new house. But then it was bed time. We had a spinal tap in the morning.

06 April 2007

Lizbeth & The Lefse

This is my friend Lizbeth. She's from Texas, but lives here now. She came over one day before I went to visit my family and while she was here, Jesse (who was at work at the time) electronically insisted I give Lizbeth some Lefse. If you don't know what it ism you'd better click. We had quite the stash thanks to Ryan.

Jesse prepares his Lefse with great care and attention to detail. By "detail" I mean an even coating of both butter and sugar. Lefse, I should note, is not considered a health food.

As many times as I've eaten it, I had never actually made one on my own. But I made one for Lizbeth (and one for myself) and I must say it came out very well.

So I gave my Lefse creation to Lizbeth and let her try it. And what ensued can only be described as hilarity. She bit into it, then chewed (not so hilarious) then continued to bite and chew with the most confused look on her face. She kept asking "What am I eating? Like what is this?" She said she felt like she was eating a cold tortilla with cold butter and sugar on it. Which I guess is kind of correct, except tortillas are made from corn or flour, and Lefse is made from potatoes. But other than that.

So that was the episode of Lizbeth and the Lefse. Maybe you really just had to be there for it. But I took pictures, so why not share?

05 April 2007

In Case You Missed It

I've already diagnosed myself with mild OCD, so don't worry about telling me I have it.

I went on vacation March 28 - April 3 and I am ready to blog about it. Hooray for you. But there were other things that happened before March 28 that I did not tell you about. Not because they were not interesting, but because I just did not have the time.

I found some of that time during my vacation, and I back-blogged. But instead of posting one item a day, I posted them all at once and in chronological order. You can the posts in any order that you like but here's a quick reference guide.

Haven't I been busy? Now that those posts are out of the way, I can start to tell you about my very fun and very relaxing time on the east coast. I have a pretty empty weekend coming up, so I hope to get to that soon.

04 April 2007

Just Call Us Lewis & Clark | Red Rock Canyon

March 25, 2007

After we coasted down the mountain and got some gas, we found that we were still in the mood to see the natural side of Las Vegas. So we went to Red Rock Canyon to drive the scenic loop. That was also a really quick trip and very surprising. I mean we knew Red Rock was there, but it was amazing to see just how close it was and how vast.

It costs $5 to drive the loop. You can also bike it, and I plan to do just that. As we were driving, we saw people had stopped on the side of the road and we decided not to do that. Then Jesse saw people climbing the rocks and our adventure began. We grabbed the camera and a water bottle and we were on our way.

Jesse picked a rock that seemed pretty impossible to get to, especially since neither of us was really dressed to be that active. But we made it. And there weren't any close calls either. Once we got to the top of our rock, we took some more pictures and decided to start hiking every month. There are so many different directions to go up there and so many trails. We're likely to never get bored. And it's good exercise.

We walked down and resumed our drive. We only got out one other time to see the view from the highest point along the drive. We took plenty of pictures. Then Jesse noted some other areas he wants to climb. It was really nice and I am now really excited for the next few months. I think we're going to spend a lot more time outdoors, which is something I miss. I know it's going to be hot, but I promise to stay hydrated. And when you come to visit, we'll take you there as well.

03 April 2007

Just Call Us Lewis & Clark | Mt Charleston

March 25, 2007
I have lived in Las Vegas for a year and eight months. Jesse has been here for a year and six and last month we did something for the very first time. We ventured out into the elements.

When I moved here, I complained about the lack of seasons, greenery, and winter. Everyone told me the same thing. "Head to the mountain." And I did, one year and eight months later.

Jesse and I drove up to Mt. Charleston one Sunday afternoon. In about a half hour we were on steep terrain with trees, hills, and even some snow. It smelled clean, and not at all dusty like Las Vegas. We both decided we could live there in one of those fancy log cabins that looks simple but costs millions of dollars.

But the trouble on the mountain is that there are no gas stations. I can't imagine having to drive 20 or 30 minutes after filling up just to get home. We only had half a tank when we went up there. When we found out the nearest gas station was about 30 miles downhill, we left. We probably could have stayed because I used no gas at all coming back down. But it is better to be safe than sorry. And we can go back whenever we want.

So we still have much more exploring to do up there. We're going to hike the mountain (at least bits and pieces of it) and we're going to camp, as soon as we figure out how to do so without having an open fire. We also heard there are waterfalls up there. Jesse looked up some pictures and they were pretty disappointing. Still, the promise of water is enough to keep us coming back. It really is beautiful up there.

02 April 2007

UNLV vs Oregon

March 23, 2007

I'm not what anyone would call a basketball fan. I've just never liked it. But I am a team player. So when the UNLV Rebels made it to the NCAA Playoffs, I really did wish them success. When Mayor Goodman proclaimed March 23rd as "Rebel Red" Day, I participated by wearing red. I even went to The Sporting House Bar & Grill to watch the game.

If you at all care, you know the Rebels lost. After the game, a lot of people went home. But some of us had expected a win, and therefore were ready to party. Plus, the bar had dueling pianos. Fun? Yes! We hung out listening to them for a few hours, then went to the Hard Rock.

I know there was a time when I was frequenting the Hard Rock every other weekend. I never got sick of it, I just stopped going. And when I went back, it was like putting on your favorite summer capris. You don't realize you miss them until you put them on again. I invited Jesse and Lucy to come but they were apparently not in the mood for fun.

Meanhile it took no time at all for me to slip into the Hard Rock Routine. We made friends and had some drinks. I will not bore you with details or names but the party went until about 5:30 in the morning. When one friend's roommate kicked us out of their hot tub. It was kind of a downer. But I had fun. I also posted more pictures.

01 April 2007

Uncle Ben Came Back To Town

Las Vegas March 16th, 2007

Jesse & Lucy's Uncle Ben was here way back in March. He's what we call a "muckity muck" at Harley Davidson and he was here for Officer Training. They say there's at least some work involved but Lucy and I went to the wrap party and I assure you those bikers did not look too stressed. They must not have been worked that hard.

Here's a picture of us at the party. That's Ricky on the left and Lucy and I in the middle. The hairy hippie-looking fella is Uncle Ben. Excuse the hair. He's hiding from the law. That bike behind is also noteworthy. But I forgot what it is. Still, you should pay some attention to it.